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"My Top Albums of 2011"

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Humanaires - Humanaires(2011)



The Humanaires are a rock n' roll band based in Grassy Cove, Tennessee, a beautiful, unique and truly inspiring environment located halfway between Nashville and Knoxville. After Americana band, Goodbye Sons, called it quits in early 2010, members John Bristow (singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist) and Joshua Hall (drummer/banjo) began playing and writing songs with guitarist and singer Ben Nakdimen and bassist/guitarist Bryce Jackman. Vocals were given With the addition of Jason Bow on violin and Alan Moles on keyboards, the band was birthed. The name "Humanaires" was chosen because everybody in the group happens to be human and wants to stay that way. Music seems like a good tool for this type of preservation.

To err is human, and they do not try to dispute this eventuality. Their self-titled debut album was recorded in marathon fashion over one day in Nashville at the marvelous Welcome to 1979 Studio. Using all analog gear, playing live onto 2" tape, and, for the most part, keeping the 1st take, warts and all, have all led to a very authentic and organic sound. Lots and lots of harmony vocals were later added back at headquarters, along with wurlitzer and synthesizer, which add depth and dimension to the record.

Eclecticism abounds here, from the wide-ranging lyrics to the distinct sound of one tune from the next, not to mention the swapping back and forth of lead vocal duties between John and Ben. With their homespun, heartfelt songs, the band's style falls somewhere, never so neatly, between indie rock and Appalachia.